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Artist Call: Public Art Community Engagement (PACE) Program Aims to Build Community through Art

July 30, 2021 | Office of Neighborhood Engagement

*Artists interested in applying for the PACE Neighbors program can attend a workshop on how to apply on Aug. 27 at 6:30 pm. Click here to register.

Project Overview 
PACE (Public Art Community Engagement) Neighbors  is a 1.5-year program designed to support local artists in creating more community-based projects.  City governments need new ways to reach people, learn from them, and collectively redevelop the civic experience. By breaking down barriers, community-based public art encourages participation and fosters comradery.   
The residency supports 4 artists to create temporary art projects with their neighbors to envision the future of their neighborhood and their city. As a cohort, the artists have opportunities to connect, other practicing artists and various resources to augment their own work. Information gleaned will inform the city’s upcoming comprehensive plan while contributing to neighborhood pride and sense of place.  

PACE Neighbors is a National Endowment for the Arts Our Town project led by the City of Lancaster in partnership with F&M College and the City of Lancaster’s Comprehensive Plan. 

Apply at form.jotform.com/211945791918165   
What is public art?  
Simply put, public art is art in public spaces. The term “public art” may conjure images of historic bronze statues of a soldier on horseback in a park. Today, public art can take a wide range of forms, sizes, and scales—and can be temporary or permanent. It often interprets the history of the place, its people and perhaps addresses a social or environmental issue. Public art can include murals, sculptures, memorials, integrated architectural or landscape architectural work, community art, digital new media, and even performances and festivals! (Public Art 101, American for the Arts)  
What is community engagement?  
Community engagement centers around the concept of creating a conversation that includes every person, recognizing all members of the community as having equal value in the conversation, and making the conversation accessible to everyone who wants to participate. The more engaged a community becomes, the more their wants and needs are reflected in the work that is being done. 

Community engagement is important for ensuring that work done in the community’s name is the work that needs to be done, that it is addressing concerns and interests relevant to the community, and that work has the community’s approval. It is a powerful vehicle for bringing about environmental and behavioral changes that will improve the community’s health and its members. It often involves partnerships and coalitions that help mobilize resources and influence systems, change relationships among partners, and serve as catalysts for changing policies, programs, and practices (CDC, 1997).   

What does the residency look like?  

  • A $15,000 stipend for project costs, which can be used at the artist’s discretion (for example: towards material costs, purchase of equipment, or compensation for collaborators).  
  •  Access to the Department of Neighborhood Engagement office, equipment, and staff expertise.  
  • Regular gatherings with fellow cohort members and community-based partner connections.   
  • Mentorship catered to individual needs.  
  • Assistance in planning and executing a solo show at the end of the residency at the F&M Philips Museum of Art and possibly also in city neighborhood centers.  
  • Photo and video documentation of the artist’s work.  

This residency is created to support artists of all disciplines who:   

  • Range from emerging to mid-career artists. This means that this isn’t your first artistic undertaking, but you likely haven’t had your first solo show and are still solidifying your practice. 
  • Get excited about collaboration as an element of their practice.
  • Are based in Lancaster City.    

 **Nondiscrimination Clause: The City of Lancaster, PA, and the PAAB will select artists without regard to sexual orientation or gender identity; familial, marital status, or pregnancy; guide dog or support animal; race, color, religion, ancestry, or national origin; gender, including sexual harassment; age; handicap or disability; possession of GED. 

Selection Process 
The Department of Neighborhood Engagement has assembled a selection committee to include city residents, arts professionals, and members of the Public Art Advisory Board. A member of the Department of Neighborhood engagement serves as a non-voting advisor to the committee and facilitates the meetings. 
July 30                            Artist Call Released 
Week of August 23        PACE Neighbors Informational Session ‘How to Apply’  
Week of September 13  PACE Neighbors Informational Session #2  
September 30                 Deadline for Submissions.   
Week of October 18       Held for Finalist Interviews. 
October 25                      Finalist Notified and given the notice to proceed. 
October 29                      Selected artist/team publicly announced. 
*Residents are chosen from the pool of applicants based on their initial project concept and spend the year developing the project within the program. Experience making community-based public art and working collaboratively to complete projects is preferred but not required. 
Late applications will not be reviewed. 

Apply at form.jotform.com/211945791918165

Scope of Work 
Over the course of a year, artists will create small-scale temporary public art projects in their own neighborhoods. This iterative process allows the artist to experiment and learn from their experiences with the benefit of the cohort support. 

Project One: Asset Mapping 
Artists work individually or in teams to research and map resources in their area. They develop a project to share what they’ve discovered in the public realm. Resources could include community organizations, businesses, schools, and people. Media could include video, murals, projection, theatre, dance, music, poetry, spoken word, etc.  

Project Two: Discoveries 
Artists work individually or in teams to create temporary public art projects that pose questions to their neighbors. Artists and/or artists teams will pick a focus of exploration about the neighborhood and/or city based on gathered community input. Focus areas could include their view of its current state, neighbors’ priorities for a good life; the identity of the place; and future visions/aspirations for the place. The artwork may be a tangible product in the public realm. It could be the process itself of getting the answers or both.   
The Artist Cohort 
Artists will have opportunities to spend time together as a group through monthly informal gatherings and quarterly structured workshops. Because of the continuing unpredictability due to the global pandemic, PACE Neighbors anticipates a hybrid online/in-person approach to this year’s residency and is committed to adapting and expanding accessibility to the needs of the residents, including but not limited to exploring new ways to build community and share work. 
Regular cohort gatherings are structured to encourage collaboration and opportunities to learn from one another. In addition to workshops that provide professional skill development, meet-ups and mixers will allow for more casual gatherings to encourage inter-cohort support. The cohort will meet on a bi-weekly basis for cohort check-in and office hours.  
PACE Programming 
The program will cater informative programming to the skills of the group. In general, there will be workshops and opportunities that provide:

  • Exposure to the field of social practice 
  • Visits with artists with a background in creating art-based community development. 
  • Trauma-Informed Community Engagement 
  • Wellness in the context of Equity Work 
  • City Govt 101  
  • Proposal Writing Workshop  

Museum Exhibition 
At the culmination of the residency, artists will work with staff at The Phillips Museum of Art at F&M to develop an exhibition of work completed over the year. The exhibition will be advertised and documented in a catalog.   
For assistance with assembling and/or submitting your application materials, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Yarlyn Rosario at yrosario@cityoflancasterpa.com
To learn more about the Our Town grant, visit www.arts.gov/grants/our-town/program-description